Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy in his biennial budget proposal cuts funding for the state’s seven traditional rest areas to save the state $1.1 million over a two-year period. The proposal, if passed by the state’s legislature, calls for the closure of the seven locations by July 1, 2017.
Malloy’s 2018-2019 budget proposal calls for the “complete closing” of the seven rest areas. The state recently cut back the hours of the buildings at the rest areas and are only open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with parking remaining available at all times, according to Connecticut Department of Transportation Director of Communications Judd Everhart.
Everhart said it has yet to be determined if the entrances to the rest areas would be completely gated off to restrict access to parking, or if the funding cut would only close the on-site buildings. Since the state cut back the hours for the buildings, it installed portable toilets for truckers and other travelers to use when the buildings are closed, and Everhart added it is also unclear as to whether or not these would remain after the budget passes.
“I don’t think that will be known for certain until the General Assembly passes a budget and the Governor has signed it,” Everhart said in an email.
Everhart did add, however, that there are commercial services within a few miles of each rest area proposed to close, including some truck stops.
The seven rest areas are located along I-84 Eastbound at Danbury, Southington and West Willington, and I-84 Westbound at West Willington; I-91 Southbound at Wallingford and I-91 Northbound at Middletown; and I-95 Southbound at North Stonington. The closure would not affect the state’s service plazas, which offer fuel, restaurants and other amenities.